One day you log into your email and see a message along the lines of, “Hey there, we would love to write a guest post for you. It’s free content!” Free? Free sounds great, doesn’t it?
Guest post requests are one of the many consequences of owning a website. All of a sudden you and your private practice are visible to the whole wide world, and there are many people who want to share in your visibility—through guest posts.
But there’s a great saying when it comes to things that appear to be free: “If something is free, you are the product.” Guest posts are no different.
The person reaching out to you wants something from you, and it’s not something you want to give.
What Purpose Do Guest Posts Serve?
The whole point of a guest post is to get a backlink. So, when someone claims they’ll write great piece of content for your website, what they’re really asking for is to place a link on your site that points to their website.
Guest posts are the means to the backlink ends.
That’s why, for the most part, people who reach out for backlinks are from marketing companies.
If you Google the name of the person sending you an inquiry you’re likely to find a LinkedIn with a title like, SEO assistant, Marketing Director, Outreach Specialist.
That’s their job: reaching out to hundreds of websites to try and get links. It’s tedious work.
Why Bother With Backlinks?
Links make the web go round.
The reason hyperlinks exist at all is to help us find information, by connecting related topics. Without links the internet wouldn’t exist as it does today.
A consequence of this structure—which is brilliant when implemented properly—is that the more links a website has, generally speaking, the more highly it ranks on search engines.
That’s because links are one way to measure authority. They’re like citations at the back of a book.
They’re why websites like Psychology Today tend to dominate many terms related to private practices; they have 13.1 million backlinks. That adds up to a lot of authority.
Hence, why people want links from you.
They’re trying to build credibility for their own websites—or more likely, their clients’ websites—by getting you to point a link in their direction.
So Is It Worth Letting Them Write A Guest Post?
Generally speaking, no.
Guest posts from these marketing agencies tend to be the lowest common denominator of content: poorly written, in haste, and on a topic you may not want displayed on your website.
Don’t trust those stellar samples they send you either.
Outreach marketing companies always put their best content forward when trying to persuade. (Can you blame them?)
The actual article is unlikely to live up to your expectation.
What Do You Get Out Of A Guest Post?
And what do you really get out of a guest post anyway?
Well, a single guest post is not going to elevate your website. All it really does is siphon off a bit of link juice from your website and give it to the other person’s website.
(This siphoning isn’t enough to matter either way, but if it doesn’t matter, why bother?)
The content is unlikely to rank, and, in the long-term, it won’t increase your practice’s visibility on search engines. The guest post does nothing.
That’s why, most guest posts are typically exchanges: “I’ll write a guest post for you, if you write a guest post for me.” Backlink for a backlink.
But that’s not what most people reaching out to you are asking for. They want a backlink and they’re willing to pay you with a guest post. In almost every instance it’s not worth the price.
Google Does Not Like Link Exchanges
And if you are offered an exchange, then know Google casts a big frown on all backlink exchanges. (Guest posts are the murky gray area that’s acceptable.)
If Google’s algorithm detects backlink exchanges it automatically disavows those links. So, they end up not helping you anyway.
For private practices, the exchange is not worth the effort.
Don’t Waste Your Time
Time is the most valuable resource any of us have, and maybe the worst part about communication with guest post outreachers is the time wasted.
Exchanging emails with a guest post request is time you’ll never get back.
Time that could be spent in other areas, actively improving your practice, such as writing blogs or speaking with clients or running Ads.
Or, even still, your time would be better spent closing your eyes, and decompressing for five minutes, rather than talking to an outreacher.
If you want to grow your practice, your best bet is to delete these emails or ignore them altogether.
Will The Guest Post Actually Help Them Anyway?
Also, sorry to break it to the thousands of SEOs out there selling backlink services, but one link doesn’t make a difference.
Outreach marketers have to get thousands of links to bump a website’s rankings. Not only that but those links have to be relevant, meaning high quality and contextual. This is almost never the case.
This is why backlinks companies tend to rely on shady black hat practices like PBNs to get their client’s links. (Though they tend not to admit such tactics.)
Why Support Someone You Don’t Know?
It’s one thing to accept a guest post from a colleague, and another to accept a guest post from a complete stranger.
Guest posts are kind of like recommending a restaurant to a friend. Would you recommend a restaurant you’ve never eaten at?
If the answer is, “No,” then why would you recommend a stranger’s website to your potential clients? Because by having that link on your website that’s exactly what you’re doing.
You’re saying, “I trust this website, so why not visit?”
If you don’t know whose making the guest post request—if you don’t know their credentials—don’t add a link to their website on your website.
The Answer Is, Ignore Guest Post Requests
Unless you’re dealing with a colleague, ignore emails asking you about guest posts. They are not doing you a service. Outreachers are looking to use your website to boost their client’s websites—or their own.
The content they’re giving you does nothing for your website, it only serves as a conduit for the link they insert in the guest post; you get the raw end of the deal.
There are endless opportunities to improve your private practice’s digital presence. These guest post requests are not one of them.